Boots-Alliance Unichem Union Forms Europe’s Biggest Pharmacy Chain
London, British health and beauty retailer Boots and pharmacy chain Alliance Unichem merged to create Europe’s biggest retail pharmacy chain.
The new group, dubbed Alliance Boots, will employ approximately 100,000 staff in nearly 3,000 store locations in Britain and Europe. The united company’s sales are expected to surpass the $22.8 billion mark, sparking speculation that Alliance Boots will be able to compete with Britain’s two largest chains, Tesco and the Wal-Mart-owned Asda.
On Monday, the stocks of both companies rose, as Boots’ shares leapt 7.31% to 653 pence and Alliance Unichem’s stocks surged 3.64% to 898 pence.
OfficeMax Chooses New HQ
Shaker Heights, Ohio, OfficeMax has selected Naperville, Ill., as the site of its new corporate headquarters, thanks to a $20 million incentive by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. OfficeMax will bring 700 jobs to Illinois as a result of the move.
The move from the retail headquarters in Shaker Heights to Naperville will take place late next spring.
Wal-Mart Takes Controlling Stake in Seiyu
Tokyo, Japanese supermarket retailer Seiyu has announced that Wal-Mart Stores is raising its stake in Seiyu from 42% to more than 50% by December. The move will turn Seiyu into a Wal-Mart subsidiary and expand Wal-Mart’s foothold in the world’s second largest retail market.
Wal-Mart will purchase up to $597 million worth of $1 billion in new shares issued by Seiyu. The remaining shares will be acquired by a Japanese bank and other investors, according to Seiyu.
Wal-Mart, since arriving in Japan in 2002, has been gradually raising its stake in Seiyu, which operates more than 400 stores.